Alison Prato (writer),
Anthony Gibson (photographer)
Come by anytime! What body part has been the most painful to get inked?
The inside of my arms. I’ve got Popeye on the inside of my arm, and it says “All or Nothing,” because that’s how I roll.
What else do you have?
A lot of the work on my arm was done by this guy Steve Monie from Pinz & Needlez in Baltimore. I put him on a plane to L.A. On my left forearm I have my daughter Shayla’s foot- and handprints from when she was born. It’s so detailed you can actually see her fingerprints. On my left forearm right above my daughter’s prints it says, “Mama’s Baby Boy.”
Is that a tribute to the movie Baby Boy, which you starred in?
No, because I am my mama’s baby boy. I’m the last child of four. On my right forearm it says, “Rebel With a Cause,” and on my wrist it says, “I belong to God,” because one time I was in church, and the pastor said something to the effect of, “When people shake your hand, they need to know that you belong to God.” Now every time somebody shakes my hand, they can read it.
Do you go to church regularly?
Are there any tattoos you regret?
On my left forearm, this one guy did some tribal fires, and I didn’t really like the way that came out. But it is what it is. It’s just not my favorite.
Have you ever seen anyone with a Tyrese tattoo?
Absolutely. Girls have had tattoos of my face. One girl went and got my ass tattooed on her right arm.
Wow. Was this a girlfriend or some psycho chick? It was a fan. Girls get my name on their body all the time—it’s so crazy.
Is that creepy or flattering?
You get used to it. The other thing is, fans name their kids after me. They’re like, “This is my son, Tyrese—I named him after you.” I don’t know how she was able to pull that off with the man she had the child with. Like, “You gonna name my son after another man?” It’s a little weird. But I appreciate it.
Do you prefer tattooed women?
I’m attracted to women with some tattoos, but not a lot. It’s important to keep everything tasteful. It’s one thing to get tattoos and another thing to have them in the right areas.
What are the right areas?
I love a tattoo right above a girl’s panty line. I love tattoos on their back. I love seeing my name on a woman’s butt. Ladies, if you want to impress me when you meet me, I need to see my name on your right cheek.
Do you ever get to the point where you want to hide from fans and paparazzi?
This is what trips me out about some entertainers. It’s very sim- ple: The day you don’t feel like being bothered with fans, stay home. I’m a people person. The only thing I hate is video cameras. If you pull your video camera out and film me as I’m walking, or while I’m at a restaurant eating, it’s crazy to me. My privacy is all I own. Stuff like that gets me really tense. I’m like, “Yo, my man, back up with the camera. Stop filming me, dude.”